Military Review

Family of armored vehicles "Type 08" (China)


BMP ZBL-08 at the Vostok-2018 exercise. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

In order to simplify production and operation, in recent years, projects of unified families of armored vehicles on a common platform are increasingly being proposed. One of the most interesting developments of this kind is the Chinese line of equipment "Type 08", created by the NORINCO corporation. In her case, almost 30 different types of equipment were created on the basis of a single chassis. Some of them have already entered service, while others are still on paper.

Base for the family

The base model for the Type 08 family is the ZBL-08 wheeled infantry fighting vehicle. It was her chassis with minor changes that was used in the construction of all other samples. Moreover, as follows from the available data, the BMP is the most massive representative of the line.

The ZBL-08 is a four-wheel drive vehicle. The armored body provides protection against large-caliber bullets when fired from front angles and against normal calibers from other angles. The front-engine layout is used, which made it possible to free the center and stern of the hull to accommodate the payload - weapons or troops.

The export version of the VN-1 BMP with other weapons. Photo by NORINCO

The chassis is equipped with a 6 hp Deutz BF1015M440C diesel engine. Semi-automatic transmission distributes torque to all wheels. Forage water cannons for swimming are provided. The chassis "Type 08" provides speed on the highway up to 100 km / h and on water up to 8-10 km / h. The power reserve is about 800 km.

In the BMP configuration, the troop compartment with aft exit accommodates 7 people. In front of him is a fighting compartment with a tower. BMP ZBL-08 is armed with a 30-mm cannon, a copy of the 2A72, and a machine gun. The use of HJ-73C missiles is also possible. Modern optical and optical-electronic means are used to control the fire.

The ZSL-08 wheeled armored personnel carrier was created directly on the basis of the ZBL-08. It is distinguished by the increased height of the troop compartment, and also carries other weapons and can accommodate 10 soldiers. The armored personnel carrier is equipped with a compact, open-top turret with a large-caliber machine gun. Despite the change in key parameters, the characteristics of the car remained the same.

VN-1 of the Gabonese Army. Photo of AP Gabon

Also noteworthy is the Type 08 command and control vehicle. It is distinguished by a superstructure over the troop compartment and the lack of advanced weapons. In addition, various communication equipment and its antenna systems are installed on it.

Some of the projects of the "Type 08" family are made on the chassis of the base BMP. In other developments, an armored personnel carrier chassis with a different body is used. Also, a number of special equipment turned out to be more profitable to do in the KShM building. This approach provides certain engineering and manufacturing advantages. The design results in various samples weighing from 15-17 to 23-25 ​​tons with similar characteristics.

Based on BMP

The greatest "popularity" within the family is the BMP chassis. On its basis, a reconnaissance vehicle, several samples of self-propelled artillery and engineering equipment were created.

ZSL-08 armored personnel carrier. Figure

BRM "Type 08" is an infantry fighting vehicle with some new equipment. In addition to the standard systems, a telescopic mast with a compact radar and an optoelectronic unit is installed on the tower. BRM is capable of monitoring the terrain and at the same time retains the firepower of the BMP.

The PLL-09 self-propelled howitzer with modular armament architecture is offered. A large unified turret can be equipped with a 122 or 155 mm gun with a barrel up to 52 calibers. The ZTL-11 "wheeled tank" is built in a similar way, but it uses a 105mm rifled gun. This vehicle is intended for direct fire and subunit fire support. The self-propelled artillery subfamily also includes the PLL-120 05mm mortar. Weapon is located inside the fighting compartment and fires through an open sunroof.

In the field of anti-aircraft artillery, the Type 09 self-propelled gun was first presented. It is armed with a 35mm autocannon and carries radar and optical surveillance equipment. Later, an export version of the ZSU was developed, distinguished by the presence of short-range missiles. The CS / SA5 self-propelled gun, armed with a six-barreled automatic cannon, is of great interest.

"Wheeled tank" ZTL-11. Photo

Also BMP became the basis for special and engineering equipment. By installing the appropriate equipment, it was turned into a repair and recovery vehicle, an engineering barrage vehicle, and even a bridgelayer. Also in this subfamily there is a multipurpose armored transport - but it was made on the basis of the ZSL-08 armored personnel carrier with a more voluminous troop compartment.

KShM modifications

The revised KShM Type 08 hull has found application in a number of projects. First of all, a specialized communication machine was built on its basis. It is equipped with equipment for communication at the level of a tank or motorized rifle battalion. An electronic warfare machine has also been developed. Against the background of other samples, it stands out with antennas of a characteristic shape, lying on the roof in the stowed position.

An ambulance with a spacious compartment for the wounded was created on the basis of the KShM. These passengers can be seated or loaded onto a stretcher. A place for a physician and some medical equipment is provided. Another development on the same basis is a radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance vehicle equipped with the necessary sensors, a marking device, etc.

BMP and fire support vehicles during the Vostok-2018 exercise. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Especially for export

The "Type 08" family was created not only for the PRC's own needs, but also for sale to third countries. Foreign buyers can be offered both existing modifications of equipment and special export developments. Some of them have already become the subject of contracts.

The base BMP ZBL-08 is supplied abroad under the name VN-1 or VN-1C. The letter "C" indicates the presence of guided missiles. Sold ZSU SWS-2 - version "Type 09" with the preservation of the standard gun and the installation of missiles.

The export SH-09 is based on the PLL-11 howitzer self-propelled gun. It uses only a 155-mm gun with a barrel length of 39 clb, which makes this installation a direct competitor to well-known foreign models. For the same purpose, the ST-1 fire support vehicle was created, armed with the British L7 cannon or its copy.

Reconnaissance vehicle "Type 08" with extended mast. Still from CCTV report

Family in the army

Armored vehicles of the "Type 08" line were developed primarily in the interests of the PLA, and it was she who became the first customer and operator. Serial production of BMPs and other vehicles has been going on since the end of the XNUMXs and has led to very interesting results by now.

According to the IISS The Military Balance 2020, the PLA currently has 1600 infantry fighting vehicles and 500 armored personnel carriers of the Type 08 line. Active deliveries of ACS ZTL-11 are underway - the troops already have 800 units. such a technique. Delivered 350 PLL-09 self-propelled guns with 122 mm cannon; there is no information about 155 mm self-propelled howitzers.

Equipment "Type 08" is supplied to foreign countries. The first buyer was Venezuela. For her Marine Corps, she acquired 11 VN-1 BMPs. New orders for armored vehicles of the line have not yet followed. Last year, the Gabon army first showed its new VN-1. The volume of this order is unknown, but at least 5-6 vehicles are mentioned.

A transport vehicle based on an armored personnel carrier. Photo

The Royal Thai Army became a profitable customer. In 2017, she ordered 38 infantry fighting vehicles and armored vehicles. In 2019, a second contract appeared, for 41 armored vehicles. At the beginning of December last year, the customer received the first batch of equipment. Deliveries will continue until 2021. It should be noted that Thailand bought not only the equipment of the "Type 08" family. The existing package of contracts provides for the supply tanks and heavy ARVs.

Outstanding family

The idea of ​​developing a unified platform for the subsequent creation of armored vehicles for various purposes is no longer a novelty and is actively used by different countries. China strives to take into account current trends and use them both for its own needs and for export. A very interesting result of this approach is the Type 08 family.

The wheeled chassis, which has become the basis of the line, has a number of characteristic features. Its power plant and undercarriage were originally designed taking into account the maximum loads corresponding to the largest combat masses and the most powerful of the planned weapons. Inside the hull, maximum space is allocated for the "payload" - first of all, troops and combat modules. At first, all the advantages of such a chassis were realized during the construction of infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, and then an ACS, ZSU, KShM, etc. were created on its basis.

Various samples of the family. Still from CCTV report

Within the “Type 08” family, almost 30 projects of equipment of different classes and different purposes have been created. Some of these projects have reached the series and service; others are unlikely to get out of the development stage. The equipment is produced in large quantities in the interests of the PLA and foreign armies.

Apparently, the number of Type 08 vehicles in China's own army will continue to grow and new foreign orders may appear. All this shows that the concept of armored vehicles of different classes on a single platform justifies itself and is really of interest for different armies. However, foreign orders for it are not yet received too often.
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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 4 August 2020 18: 06
    Thanks to the author!
    I confess - wheeled armored vehicles are one of my weaknesses, so I read with pleasure.
  2. dzvero
    dzvero 4 August 2020 18: 07
    Platform unification is great; the pace of military construction (army, navy, air force, space ...) is almost prohibitive. But now I have a question - what about the quality of the "products"? Is there any real first-hand information?
    1. Elysium
      Elysium 4 August 2020 18: 21
      If there is, then the same as about their plane - "very-very" laughing And in reality, only their users can tell.
      1. dzvero
        dzvero 4 August 2020 18: 34
        And in reality, only their users can tell.

        Everything is so, but information is slowly emerging - unexpected breakdowns of their tanks at the biathlon, the Turks' refusal of the Chinese air defense system, despite the EMNIP won a tender ten years ago, the acquisition of F-16 by Pakistan, despite close ties with China and the fleet of Chinese aircraft, talk about problems with Chinese marine engines ... Maybe the cases are not connected, but some contours are beginning to take shape.
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 4 August 2020 18: 43
          Quote: dzvero
          refusal of the Turks from the Chinese air defense system, despite the winning tender

          Pure policy.
          The situation is similar to what is happening with the S-400, but then relations with the United States were more adequate.
        2. Elysium
          Elysium 4 August 2020 19: 09
          You can still wait for feedback from Algeria about their copies of the Javelins.
          1. Kosh
            Kosh 9 August 2020 21: 43
            Algeria, by the way, already has quite a lot of Chinese weapons, from 120-mm W86 towed mortars, SM4 self-propelled mortars, 155-mm PLZ-45 self-propelled guns, modular SR-5 MLRS, etc. to the corvettes of the C28A project.
        3. Ilshat
          Ilshat 4 August 2020 19: 15
          The Chinese are popular with us, I constantly see howo on the roads so that they do not scold me, on the contrary, they praise that you can load as much as you like, they are immediately designed for overload ...
          Chinese bridges in the "Urals"
          A lot of everything

          PS: comrade "hawal" was going to buy, for himself ...
          1. Horst78
            Horst78 4 August 2020 19: 25
            Chinese dump trucks are used for slaughter. Season, maximum two. Then for scrap. During this time, taking into account the "overload", they pay for themselves twice. I haven’t met any Chinese dump trucks yet. Looks like if they break then all at once lol
            1. Ilshat
              Ilshat 4 August 2020 19: 32
              So with any technique, with intensive use ...
              I once, a long time ago, served the bushes and we had a short cornfield ...
              It's a great car, but I can only say praise to her - where the big cars skidded - we’ll go around the edge ...
              And pushing out is easy and simple ...
              But in two years they were so driven out that they could not sell them for the residual ...
              Mine was actually handed over to scrap metal. :-(
          2. phair
            phair 11 October 2020 11: 22
            On a regular basis, Hovo's brakes fail, and the empty bodies rise. The Sedanka-Patroclus route stands without crossings (the carriers usually die). And they live in season 2, then in scrap metal. Overload gives rise to rutting, the cops at Zarya will see how Hovo is on the scales. But that doesn't help.
    2. Mavrikiy
      Mavrikiy 4 August 2020 18: 38
      Quote: dzvero
      Is there any real first-hand information?
      Why, if there is information from Sohu.
      aft water cannons for swimming
      fool Rather screws, water cannons were with us.
    3. Kosh
      Kosh 9 August 2020 21: 37
      At least from Venezuela, no complaints have been heard about the light armored vehicles purchased from China, incl. the export version of the BMP, which the article is talking about - VN1. If rumors are to be believed, they even praise that the machines are easy enough to maintain, etc. By the way, the Chinese UBS K-8 is highly appreciated there, which is used there not only for training pilots, but also for patrolling against small drug traffickers, since it is expensive to chase them every time the Su-30
  3. svp67
    svp67 4 August 2020 18: 28
    It is very similar to our "Boomerang", and somehow the Chinese generals and buyers of these machines are not very worried that these combat vehicles are "a grenade launcher's dream" in size ...
    When will our "Boomer" troops go. A very necessary machine that can save more than one life of our soldier
    1. Elysium
      Elysium 4 August 2020 19: 04
      Unlike Boomer, there is nothing about active defense here. Everything is Chinese ...
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov 4 August 2020 19: 11
        Quote: Elysium
        Unlike Boomer, there is nothing about active defense here.

        Was it really going to be installed on Boomerang?
  4. Lopatov
    Lopatov 4 August 2020 19: 17
    In general, of course, it's pretty cool to put all the artillery on a single chassis. On the battalion PLL-05, a very advanced "Nona-SVK", on the regimental PLL-09, a very advanced "2S1 Carnation" Plus all the KShM on the same chassis ....
    1. svp67
      svp67 4 August 2020 19: 49
      Quote: Spade
      In general, of course, it's pretty cool to put all the artillery on a single chassis

      At the same time, having the same chassis for armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, KShM, BREM ... and so on and so on ... Unification at the highest level
      1. prior
        prior 5 August 2020 13: 40
        And accordingly: maintainability, interchangeability, personnel training, production price, attractiveness for importers.
        Well, as for quantity, they will successfully replace the quality of competitors.
        Well done Chinese. It remains silently to envy.
  5. Undecim
    Undecim 4 August 2020 21: 55
    The armored body provides protection against large-caliber bullets when firing from front corners and against normal calibers from other angles
    Strange, Chinese sources give completely different security parameters. Frontal projection - from 23 mm armor-piercing ammunition from a distance of more than 1000 m and from 12,7 to the side from 100 m.
  6. Bersaglieri
    Bersaglieri 5 August 2020 10: 48
    Duc, copy-paste from Stryker.